by Phildile Ndlovu, founder of Bhekizenzo Foundation
I was about to complete my degree when I realized that I had no idea what to do with it. I was applying for jobs frantically and I was not getting called back for interviews. So, instead of entering a state of panic, I went back to my core and rekindled my passion for social justice which has been a common thread in everything I have been involved in. Social justice and bringing social change has always been a passion. Being in a leadership academy, I just knew I had to start something and not wait to be employed in order to change lives.
Here are two learnings from my journey so far.
Share your vision and go public
When I wanted to start my NPO, I wanted to register it and keep quiet. I just wanted to do the work and be behind the scenes. I went and registered and wrote the constitution and got together a small team. I developed the logo and I thought to myself, “This is it” but I had to do the work and it was so hard establishing programs and not being known.
Something in me said I should promote the organization’s logo to the outside world. I posted it on my Whatsapp and people asked me questions about the work we intended to do. This led me to writing up my vision and mission statement. I then went and put it up on Facebook and Instagram. This led me to thinking about my first project. I later realized that I needed to start a Facebook page, which led me to hosting my first event as a strategy to building awareness of my organization. I think you see where I am going with this - sharing your goals can make you more accountable! Tell people you trust about your plans and ideas. Share your milestones. No one wants to look like a talker and not a doer.
Build both your personal and organization brand
The journey began and my organization was formally registered. We have since organized a range of activations and programs, and as a result people trust and now recognize Bhekizenzo Foundation. Over 20 students in KwaZulu Natal have had computer training and over 150 students in Gauteng have been introduced to our leadership program. Like any business in its first year, we have had challenges. I have felt like giving up. I have wondered if I was a laughing stock because I do not have a huge pay cheque at the end of the month. I have often questioned myself. Am I good enough? Am I being original? Is this what God wants me to do? None of these questions are easy to answer. My friends on social media now associate me with youth development and the foundation is reaching more people. This is because I communicate my values and principles everyday on social media. My lifestyle matches what I preach and while I may make mistakes, my life is about loving and serving humanity. My story is still being written, I plan on expanding, growing and changing more lives.
Phindile Ndlovu is passionate about Community Development pertaining skills development and education for the youth. She is experienced in driving life changing community development campaigns. Passionate about self-development and leadership, she works and speaks with young people across the Gauteng Province in South Africa, motivating and coordinating her vision and goal setting workshops through her organization, Bhekizenzo Foundation. Her skillset is based on project design, brand awareness and organizational surveys, amongst many others. Phindile has strong, professional media and communications expertise, particularly with event coordination and campaign strategy planning. She has obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies and Sociology at the University of Witswatersand Johannesburg. Learn more.